Adopters seem to me to be a particularly squeezed segment of the squeezed generation. Often older parents, they soon care not only for their new child(ren) but also their ailing and aging parents. I’ve been observing this from a safe distance. Marvelling at the resilience and strength of these adopters.
These are words that I’m sure we’ve all heard many times from well-meaning friends and family. We know they’re trying to reassure, to be kind and that, really, they mean, “Don’t worry, you’ve got this, you’re doing a good job.” But that’s often not how the words are heard. For me, I always hear them as, “Don’t make such a fuss; you’re over thinking things; the problem must be you, if you’re finding this so hard.”
My mother lived to just 62, far too young of course and her death seemed illogical and unjust at the time. However, just how young she was is only now starting to sink in – more than 16 years later.
I’m 55 this year, just 7 years younger than she was when she died.
7 years! It will fly by…
I’ve recently completed the first two days of the four day parenting course for adopters called The Great Behaviour Breakdown and I’m blown away already…
I was at a meeting with non adoptive parents and somebody brought up the fact that their child had screamed ‘I hate you’ at them the day before and how hurt she had been by this, almost all of the other parents said that they had experienced the same and the group went on to discuss how difficult it is to hear and how hurt they had been.
Both our sons have indeed declared their hate for us in fits of anger – as well as the possibly more dramatic ‘you are not my parents anyway’, but neither my partner or I had been hurt or upset.
We sense a change.
A small change, but a real change and – fingers crossed – a fundamental change. Although of course we could be wrong – we certainly have been before….
We think we are seeing signs that our younger son’s anger and the screaming and shouting that are a consequence of that anger are being controlled. They are still there, still part of our lives, but it’s somehow feeling different. There now seems to be a desire from him that was clearly not there before, a desire to bring our ‘battles’ to an end. It’s clearly a struggle, but a struggle that maybe he is winning. Slowly, gradually he seems to be taking control.